Canine Respiratory Coronavirus


Coronavirus in dogs is a viral condition that primarily affects the respiratory system of the infected dog. The condition is known medically as CRCoV or sometimes simply as dog coronavirus.

The condition was first observed in England around 2003 amongst UK dogs. Early medical studies have proved the virus is tightly connected to the common cold experienced in humans worldwide.

Since detection in England, canine coronavirus has also been seen all across Europe, the USA, Canada and the far east. It is widely believed amongst UK veterinarians that canine coronavirus is prevalent globally but more severe in colder regions.

The condition appears to be more regularly observed when large numbers of dogs are housed together, most notably at kennels.

Spreading of the virus happens through direct contact between dogs.


Canine respiratory coronavirus presents itself via a number of observable symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Persistent coughing
  • Persistent sneezing
  • Notable fatigue or tiredness

Symptoms amongst dogs tends to be mild and at times hard to spot. Many dogs may get the virus and recover without their owners noticing that anything is wrong.

In rare cases the viral condition can lead to pneumonia which itself can be fatal if left untreated.

UK veterinarians can test for the condition even if the dog has had the condition at some point in the past.

Affected Breeds

Canine coronavirus (CRCoV) typically can affect all dogs and breeds. The spread of infection is not limited to any particular sized dogs or dog breed bloodline.

Whilst the virus doesn’t discriminate dogs, complications such as pneumonia is more prevalent in larger dogs like:


There is no official anti-viral treatment available for canine coronavirus. The virus itself cannot be cured by medication much like the common cold in humans.

There is also currently no preventative medications that can be prescribed to prevent the condition.

Whilst it is untreatable, UK veterinarians may choose a course of antibiotics to treat any knock on conditions such as pneumonia or lung complications.

During infection the main course of treatment tends to be to keep your dog hydrated and isolated from other dogs.

The virus normally lasts around 7-9 days from first symptoms.

Further Reading

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